What are we reading? May 2, 2019

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Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.

 

Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

The central problem in securing the impending 5G technology from cyber surveillance and hacking is summarized in the last sentence of this thorough look at the issues from an American perspective: “The problem is that most people don’t think very hard about what that world would look like.” - The New Yorker  https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-communications/the-terrifying-potential-of-the-5g-network

 

Worried that the era of autonomous vehicles will take away your right to drive? Not so fast. The Human Driving Association is here to represent the right-to-driving movement in the United States. - The New Yorker

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-inquiry/the-fight-for-the-right-to-drive

 

There have been several first-blush takes on the Mueller report on the Trump administration, but this deep dive from the editor of respected legal journal Lawfare makes a case for a case against the US president. It also absolves him on a couple of key points. - The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/ben-wittes-five-conclusions-mueller-report/588259/

 

Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

And people think baby boomers are old and in the way. They've got nothing on Xenon 124, the half-life expectancy of which has recently been clocked at around 18 sextillion years. - New Atlas

https://newatlas.com/xenon1t-element-longest-half-life/59458/

 

Corruption continues to suck the lifeblood out of the global economy. This new report from the International Monetary Fund estimates that around US$1 trillion in tax revenue annually is being lost to corruption worldwide. That is a whole lot of resource that could be applied to education, health, infrastructure and other pressing issues in every country. - International Monetary Fund

https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/FM/Issues/2019/03/18/fiscal-monitor-april-2019

 

However, that might be chump change compared with the estimated US$160 trillion that renewable energy could save in climate change costs by 2050. - Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/04/14/renewable-energy-could-save-160-trillion-in-climate-change-costs-by-2050/#52e99d244878

 

Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Former FBI director James Comey’s op-ed on why few who come into contact with Donald Trump come away with their reputations unfouled:

“Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring…. But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein.” - New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/opinion/william-barr-testimony.html

 

Global’s Jane Gerster with a crash course on where Canada’s garbage goes, and why it’s now causing international political grief for Ottawa. - Global News

https://globalnews.ca/news/5225389/sending-canadian-trash-abroad/

 

Tyler Orton, reporter:

The Catastrophic Performance of Bill Barr. - The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/bill-barrs-performance-was-catastrophic/588574/

 

I’m not usually a sucker for animal stories but the Russian spy whale’s high-profile “defection” to Norway is one straight out of the Cold War. - Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/05/02/authorities-alleged-russian-spy-whale-is-refusing-leave-seeking-norwegians-devotion/?utm_term=.715317814b37

 

Glen Korstrom, reporter:

The Vancouver Whitecaps this week responded to allegations that it failed to alert police about accusations that a former coach in its women's soccer program bullied and harassed players in 2008. Instead it hired an ombudsperson and then parted ways with the coach. I'm a bit late to this story but I looked at the club’s full response, along with its timeline of events:

https://www.whitecapsfc.com/post/2019/05/01/letter-whitecaps-fc-co-owners-greg-kerfoot-and-jeff-mallett

I also read the February-written blog post from former women's Whitecaps player Ciara McCormack, which prompted new awareness of the alleged abuse and prompted the Whitecaps' fans' response to leave games en masse at designated times in a couple games so far. McCormack’s thorough account gives insight into the politics of women's soccer and explains why she gave up her dream of playing for Canada, and instead played for Ireland, a country for which she is a dual citizen:

https://ciaramccormack.com/2019/02/25/a-horrific-canadian-soccer-story-the-story-no-one-wants-to-listen-to-but-everyone-needs-to-hear/

 

Curaleaf’s May 1 announcement of its US$1 billion purchase of (the bizarrely similarly named) Cura Cannabis caught my eye because I wrote about Massachusetts-based Curaleaf recently. Curaleaf conducted the largest non-mining merger or acquisition in B.C. last year with its reverse takeover to go public. The background story on Curaleaf is fascinating (its chair was involved selling state assets after the fall of the Soviet Union) but the background on its new acquisition target is even more storied, as this article sets out. - Oregon Live

https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2019/05/cura-cannabis-portlands-billion-dollar-marijuana-company-has-a-tortured-past.html

 

While on cannabis, this story stood out for me because it touches on what would be the biggest possible stimulant to cannabis-sector stocks: the legalization of marijuana nationwide in the U.S.

Seems as though the weed sector is burning millions of dollars on lobbyists in Washington D.C. with so-far dubious results. - Vice https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pajbqy/cannabis-lobbying-in-washington-dc-isnt-working

 

Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Snow covering your solar panels? S'now problem. Researchers in Canada and the U.S. say they have developed a way of generating electricity from falling snow – a novel approach to dealing with solar panels that quite generating when they are covered by the white stuff. - CTV

https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/revolutionary-device-creates-electricity-from-snowfall-1.4404825